Apparently so was Momofuku Ando, the late inventor of instant ramen who built an empire of freeze-dried noodles. Back in 2001 he had declared a goal of developing noodles for astronauts.
According to a piece in the Japan Times, Ando’s company, Nissin, has made his dream come true. Japan will begin supplying food to the International Space Station next year, including ramen and Japanese favorites like curry and rice and mackerel cooked in miso.
Of course, the article notes, space food has its challenges—anything not sucked directly out of a tube has to be glutinous enough to hold together in the zero-gravity environment. Nissin researchers devised a way to make bite-size balls of ramen that could be coated with egg white so that they would stay ball-shaped even when rehydrated.
But don’t assume that space ramen will be as cheap as Cup Noodles: Japanese space food ranges from $9 to close to $40 per item. That’s got to cut into the old grocery budget!